California-Israel partnerships related to stem cell research are the horizon due to an agreement signed today between the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and Israel’s Center for R&D, MATIMOP.

Israeli Consul General in Los Angeles David Siegel praised the agreement, the third major agreement between Israel and California in 2014.

“This is quite a statement that the eighth or seventh-largest economy in the world is investing in Israel and partnering with Israel, and it’s quite a message out there for those who are skeptical about Israel — those that think Israel is isolated, surrounded and should be boycotted,” Siegel said in a phone interview on Dec. 5. “This is very much the inverse of that, and, we believe, the right form of diplomacy.”

The agreement takes effect immediately, Siegel said. It will create incentives for Israeli biotech companies to do business in California, among other things.

“What we’re doing is sharing the cost of innovation and together enjoying the fruits of the labor, so a small Israeli company will be offered Israeli state funding to operate in California with a California partner and they in turn will have access to FDA labs.”

The signing took place in San Francisco.